After Tuesday’s heavy rains Sullivan’s Island experienced a sanitary sewer overflow, or SSO for short. You can read more about it here. A SSO occurs when raw sewage overflows the system of pipes and sewers designed to collect it and transport it to a sewage treatment plant.
EPA estimates that as many as 75,000 SSOs occur nationwide every year. SSOs can occur for many reasons including: blockages, line brakes, vandalism, and inflow and infiltration or rainwater. In the last 3 months 17 SSOs occurred in our watershed. Check where they occurred here:
View Sanitary Sewer Overflows in a larger map
More than half of the SSOs in our watershed in the last 3 months were caused by inflow and infiltration of rainwater after heavy rain events. Your local water and sewer authority should have a program designed to find and correct the defects that allow rainwater into the sewage collection system. These programs cost a lot of money. As a member of the community we encourage you to support these efforts because they help to protect our swimmable and harvestable waterways.